Emily Dinova has been a resident of Hoboken for more than 10 years, but has been an adventure seeker her entire life. From tackling one project after another, the 33-year-old actor, singer, director, and producer, has taken on multiple film and theater roles. On top of it all, she recently came out with a 334-page dark romance book that can be found in bookstores all over the country. As an artist, she’s looking to inspire change and help people in one way or another, which is why her next goal is getting licensed in psychoanalysis. The Hoboken Girl chatted with Emily to learn more about her journey and where she’s headed next. Read on for more about Emily Dinova, Hoboken’s own shining star.
Life in Hoboken
Emily was born in Connecticut and spent time in other cities before settling down in Hoboken. “I never lived anywhere for more than two years at a time since I was 17, and when I landed in Hoboken, it was just like I fell in love and I never left,” Emily told The Hoboken Girl. “It just feels like a community – it’s the people, seeing your neighbors, like having that real small town feel in a city. It makes Hoboken a really special place, and it’s so convenient to the city, which obviously being an artist is integral to my work.”
Although she’s not home for a long period of time if she’s on tour, she always enjoys her favorite spots when she returns. She gets coffee from Black Rail and loves Dino + Harry’s Steakhouse where she has date nights with her fiancé whom she lives with. During her free time, she enjoys walking along the pier by the water and spends her weekends training at Jang Star Taekwondo School in Jersey City.
“It helps in every aspect in mental health in general. It’s a great workout. It’s sort of like mind, body, and soul. It’s really changed my life and it’s definitely helped me focus and be more disciplined in my work as an artist and an author,” Emily said, adding that she’d like to work towards getting a black belt.
For now, Emily hopes to remain in Hoboken for as long as her job allows, but eventually would like to spend some serious time traveling where she can experience new life and get inspired by new people she meets along the way.
“Living in a city is so important because of the constant exposure to inspiration. At some point I would like to…combine those arts of the mind, the body, the spirit or the creativity of a soul or whatever that might be for any given person. I would like to help people and become certified as a psychoanalyst,” she told HG. “That is why I’m an artist — to inspire change and bring people together and help people through this crazy thing we call life.”
Involvement in the Arts
Emily received her Bachelors in English with a Theatre concentration from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and also received a Master of Arts degree in Stage and Screen Writing from Regent’s University London in the UK. She also studied opera and classical vocal performance for over 13 years and did community theater growing up as a kid.
Her impressive resume includes New York off-Broadway plays, such as My Big Gay Italian Wedding, Ruptured, and Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding. She performed in some musical theater plays at Fulkerson Arts Center in Connecticut, such as Hello Dolly, Jekyll and Hyde, and The Wizard of Oz. She’s also appeared in some TV and film roles, such as Ghost Guidos, The Concertgoer, and A Foot in the Door.
^ Emily on the set of Ghost Guidos
“Acting-wise, I prefer plays. I do like dark comedies mostly. I do like to find the moments of comedy in the tragedy and vice versa, so that is always my favorite part,” Emily shared.
The Actors’ Equity Association member recalled the pivotal moment in her career was when she got the role in Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding, which opened in Times Square: “It was when I got my equity card and started working professionally as a New York actor. I met people who have turned into family and it opened a lot of doors for me.” It was then when she met her now fiancé, Gregory Cioffi, who is also an actor and is a member of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild).
The couple of nine years continue to tour together in Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding. They initially played boyfriend and girlfriend and then ended up together. Thinking about their own wedding, although not in the planning stages yet, Emily joked, “We’ve been married on stage over like 150 times at this point, so we’re like, ‘How do we make this not cliché?’”
Emily and Greg founded a production company G&E Productions in 2016. “I’ve filmed a few times in Hoboken, so if you check out any of a couple of my short films, Hoboken is featured in them,” Emily gushed.
^ Emily with her fiancé Gregory Cioffi from Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding
She also revealed their company has two films in the festival circuit right now, aiming to get picked up by a major distributor. “One just had its premiere in Atlanta that was part of an Academy Award qualifying film festival, so that was kind of a big deal,” Emily revealed. “We have another film that is also making the rounds. So we wait to hear if we get in, we get to go and network and meet other artists and things like that. It’s always a good time.”
Her Very First Book
Emily’s book, Veil of Seduction, was released online and in bookstores nationwide on November 18, 2022. She describes it as a “mystery, sort of psychological thriller, but it has elements of Dark Romance” and is a period piece and gothic fiction.
The Hoboken resident shared: “It’s been a process. I started writing it before the pandemic and then was just looking for representation, shopping around, and then it got picked up by an independent publisher. And the irony being that the actual writing of the book was less stressful and less time consuming – it took two months to write – than promoting and getting the word out there about it.”
^ Emily’s “Veil of Seduction” book signing event in Hoboken in February 2023
Although it took years to finally be released, Emily says seeing it on bookshelves was “totally surreal.” “I feel like it still hasn’t hit me. Just having the physical copy of it was sort of mind-blowing,” Emily told HG. “It’s sort of like, it’s my baby, and it’s out in the world. And the fact that it’s circulating and people are picking it up and bringing it places. I was just in North Dakota for an acting gig and then in Arizona, and people there were like, ‘Oh yeah, I have the book.’ Like, ‘Oh my God, what?!’ It’s surreal for sure.”
Emily recently hosted a book signing at Symposia Bookstore on February 4th, where she got support from the Hoboken community and celebrated with friends and family.
^ Emily at her book signing at Symposia Bookstore
In exciting news, the novelist revealed to Hoboken Girl that she got the green light to write the sequel. She shared that she’s going to start writing it this summer when she has time to concentrate, and there’s nowhere where she’d rather write than in her apartment where she has nice city views.
“I am the type of person who has to write everything down. Like before I start, I want to know where I’m going, what I’m doing, what’s happening. And then once I get into it, I don’t really come out of it,” Emily dished. “You kind of fall into the world. If I feel like I’m in that world, I’m there with my characters and sometimes they control me more than I control them… I never put a time on myself or a limit. I sort of just write until I feel like, ‘Okay, that’s enough. I’m good here.’”